Punjab & Haryana High Court: Suvir Sehgal, J., dismissed the writ petition for lack of maintainability and directed the petitioner to avail the statutory remedy under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

The petitioner has sought for the quashing of the order passed by the respondent in Consumer Complaint No. 35 of 2019 dated 08-01-2020, 26-02-2020 and 11-05-2020 and in M.A. No. 837 of 2020 dated 19-03-2020 along with direction for setting aside of final order dated 26-08-2019 and entire proceedings initiated under Section 27 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. This petition comes as a result of an order dated 26-08-2020 rendered by the State Commission in which the petitioner has been directed to refund an amount along with interest and compensation. It is to be noted that the order dated 26-08-2020 has not been appealed by the petitioner before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi. The order was passed ex-parte due to the absence of the petitioner.

Counsel for the petitioner, Anand Chhibbar and Gaurav Mankotia contended that the petitioner has no relation with the present matter and that the respondent had not received any notice of the consumer complaint which let to his absence during the proceedings that ensued.

The petitioner was then questioned over the maintainability of the petition which led to the tribunal perusing Section 27-A(1) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 which affirms the remedy of appeal. The Court observed that as per the Act, an appeal from the State Commission lies before the National Commission. In the instant case the petitioner has erroneously approached the High Court instead of the National Commission.

The Court then referred to the case titled Cicily Kallarackal v. Vehicle Factory, (2012) 8 SCC 524 and stated that orders of the State Commission are appealable before the National Commission and that it would be improper for the Court to exercise its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India in the present petition.

In view of the above-stated facts, provisions and judgments the Court held that the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 itself provides for filing of an appeal before the specially constituted forum under the said Act and that deciding the present petition would be untenable.

Resultantly, the petition has been dismissed by the Court for being non-maintainable granting liberty to the petitioner to avail the remedy under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.[Pranav Ansal v. State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissioner, Punjab, 2020 SCC OnLine P&H 1182, decided on 13-08-2020]

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